2 Kings 3:13
And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.
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(13) Unto the king of Israel.—As the leader of the confederacy; or as Elisha’s sovereign, who might be supposed to have brought the others to the prophet.

The prophets of thy fatheri.e., the Baal prophets (comp. 1Kings 18:19) and false prophets of Jehovah (1Kings 22:6; 1Kings 22:11). Elisha’s sarcasm indicates that the former had not been wholly rooted out.

Nay.—Heb., ‘al; Greek, μή. “Say not so;” or, “Repulse me not.” (Comp. Ruth 1:13.)

These three kings.—And not one (myself) only, emphasising the word three. Or else Jehoram would rouse compassion by the magnitude of the imminent disaster.

2 Kings 3:13. Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I, &c.? — I desire not to have any discourse with thee. Get thee to the prophet of thy father, &c. — Seek counsel and help of thy false prophets and of their gods, the calves, which thou, after thy father’s example, worshippest; and the Baals, which thy mother yet worships by thy permission. Let these idols, which thou servest in thy prosperity, now help thee in thy distress. The king of Israel said, Nay, &c. — That is, I will not consult them; but do thou now give us counsel how we may be extricated from this great distress. For the Lord hath called, &c. — He was sensible it was by the particular providence of the God of Israel that he was brought into this strait, and perhaps secretly he believed in Jehovah alone as the true God, though, for political reasons, he worshipped the calves.

3:6-19 The king of Israel laments their distress, and the danger they were in. He called these kings together, yet he charges it upon Providence. Thus the foolishness of man perverteth his way, and then his heart fretteth against the Lord, Pr 19:3. It was well that Jehoshaphat inquired of the Lord now, but it had been much better if he had done it before he engaged in this war. Good men sometimes neglect their duty, till necessity and affliction drive them to it. Wicked people often fare the better for the friendship and society of the godly. To try their faith and obedience, Elisha bids them make the valley full of pits to receive water. Those who expect God's blessings, must dig pools for the rain to fill, as in the valley of Baca, and thus make even that a well, Ps 84:6. We need not inquire whence the water came. God is not tied to second causes. They that sincerely seek for the dew of God's grace, shall have it, and by it be made more than conquerors.Jehoram's humility in seeking 2 Kings 3:12 instead of summoning Elisha, does not save him from rebuke. His reformation 2 Kings 3:2 had been but a half reformation - a compromise with idolatry.

Nay: for the Lord hath called ... - The force of this reply seems to be - "Nay, reproach me not, since I am in a sore strait - and not only I, but these two other kings also. The Lord - Yahweh - is about to deliver us into the hand of Moab. If thou canst not, or wilt not help, at least do not reproach."

13, 14. What have I to do with thee? &c.—Wishing to produce a deep spirit of humility and contrition, Elisha gave a stern repulse to the king of Israel, accompanied by a sarcastic sneer, in bidding him go and consult Baal and his soothsayers. But the distressed condition, especially the imploring language, of the royal suppliants, who acknowledged the hand of the Lord in this distress, drew from the prophet the solemn assurance, that solely out of respect to Jehoshaphat, the Lord's true servant, did he take any interest in Jehoram. What have I to do with thee? I desire to have no discourse nor converse with thee.

To the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother, i.e. to the calves, which thou after thy father’s example dost worship; and to the Baals which thy mother yet Worshippeth by thy permission, and to which thy heart is yet inclined, though thou hast destroyed one of his images for politic reasons. Let these idols whom thou worshippest in thy prosperity now help thee in thy distress.

Nay, I renounce those false prophets and Baals, and will seek to none but God for help.

These three kings: if thou hast no respect for me, yet pity this innocent king of Edom, and good Jehoshaphat, who are involved in the same danger with myself.

And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, what have I to do with thee?.... An idolater; I can hold no discourse nor have any conversation with thee, nor give thee any advice or assistance:

get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother; the prophets of Baal, and of the groves:

and the king of Israel said unto him, nay; meaning, he would not apply to them, who he was sensible could give him no relief, only to the Lord God, from whom this affliction was, and therefore begs he would pray to him to have mercy on them; so the Targum,"I beseech thee remember not the sins of that wickedness, pray for mercy for us:"

for the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab; signifying, that he should not perish alone, but the other two kings with him, who had no connection with the prophets of his father and mother in their idolatry, and therefore hoped for their sakes mercy would be shown.

And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, {h} What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, {i} Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.

(h) He knew that this wicked king would have but used his counsel to serve his turn, and therefore, he disdained to answer him.

(i) The wicked do not esteem the servants of God unless they are driven by every necessity and fear of the present danger.

13. What have I to do with thee?] An expression equivalent to a command to be gone. Cf. Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28; John 2:4.

the prophets of thy father] It would be no easy task, however willing Jehoram might be, to put down at once the worship of Baal. We know indeed that this was not done. Only the special outward mark, ‘the pillar of Baal’ (verse 2), which indicated the royal attachment to the idolatrous rites, and stood perhaps in the king’s own ground, was put down. Jehoram would be forced to trust to the power of opinion to banish the worship completely. It is so much more easy to encourage wrong than to get rid of it. Hence to Elisha the acts of Jehoram would seem very fainthearted, and he would be held for a sharer in the ways of Ahab and Jezebel.

Nay] i.e. Send me not away thus. And in his next sentence he admits that the orderer of all these events is Jehovah, and confesses by implication that to Him only can they look for aid.

Verse 13. - And Elisha said unto the King of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. Despite Jehoram's self-humiliation, Elisha regards it as incumbent on him to rebuke the monarch, who, though he had "put away the image of Baal which his father had made," still "wrought evil in the sight of the Lord," and "cleaved to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat" (2 Kings 2:2, 3). Jehoram must not be allowed to suppose that he has done enough by his half-repentance and partial reformation; he must be rebuked and shamed, that he may, if possible, be led on to a better frame of mind. "What," says the prophet, "have I to do with thee? What common ground do we occupy? What is there that justifies thee in appealing to me for aid? Get thee to the prophets of thy father" - the four hundred whom Ahab gathered together at Samaria, to advise him as to going up against Ramoth-Gilead (1 Kings 22:6) - "and the prophets of thy mother," the Baal-prophets, whom Jezebel, who was still alive, and held the position of queen-mother, still maintained (2 Kings 10:19) - "get thee to them, and consult them. On them thou hast some claim; on me, none." And the King of Israel said unto him; Nay: for the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab. A most soft and meek answer - one well calculated to "turn away wrath." "Nay," says the king; "say not so. Let not that be thy final answer. For it is not I alone who am in danger. We are three kings who have come down to thee to ask thy aid; we are all in equal danger; have respect unto them, if thou wilt not have respect unto me; and show them a way of deliverance." 2 Kings 3:13In order still further to humble the king of Israel, who was already bowed down by the trouble, and to produce some salutary fruit of repentance in his heart, Elisha addressed him in these words: "What have I to do with thee? Go to the (Baal-) prophets of thy father and thy mother! Let them help thee." When Joram replied to this in a supplicatory tone: על, no, pray (as in Ruth 1:13), i.e., speak not in this refusing way, for the Lord has brought these three kings - not me alone, but Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom also - into this trouble; Elisha said to him with a solemn oath (cf. 1 Kings 17:1): "If I did not regard Jehoshaphat, I should not look at thee and have respect to thee," i.e., I should not deign to look at thee, much less to help thee.
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